The way you store your clothes matters, especially if you’re putting them away for an entire season. Stored incorrectly or in the wrong place, your clothes could come back out with bad smells, stains, creases, or holes. To help keep your clothes in good condition all year round, here are some tips on how to store them properly.
Make sure they’re clean and dry first
Always wash your clothes before putting them away in the closet, even if they don’t look dirty. Over time, any residual dirt or sweat on your clothing will set in and can create stains and bad odors. Dirt or food debris may also attract pests to your clothing. Wash and then properly dry each item of clothing before hanging it in your closet. Putting away damp clothing also causes bad odors and can lead to mold and mildew.
Store in a cool, dry place
If you need to store clothes away for a long time, then you might think the basement or attic is a good option. Make sure you store your clothing in the right environment. Basements can be damp areas that lead to mildew in stored clothes, and the extreme fluctuations of temperature in an attic can also be bad for your clothes. When left in hot areas, the fibers and elastics of your clothing can become damaged over time.
Tips for folding clothes
T-shirts, jeans, and other items of clothing can be folded neatly when storing them. Choose a spacious area when storing folded clothes. Trying to cram too many items of clothing into one space will lead to creasing. For long-term storage, placing folded clothes into plastic boxes is a good option, but avoid cardboard boxes as the acidity in this material can damage your clothing.
Tips for hanging clothes
Some items of clothing, like dresses, dress pants, and button-down shirts, should be hung up rather than folded to keep them crease-free and in good condition. Avoid using wire hangers when hanging clothes in your closet as these can stretch out your clothes and may not be strong enough to support the weight of an item of clothing over time. Look for wider hangers, particularly wood hangers. For extra protection, consider hanging your clothing in fabric garment bags.